Film Review: The Mummy (2017)

© 2017 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ – 3/5.

Author: Feargal Agard | Runtime: 110 min. | Director: Alex Kurtzman | Year: 2017.

It is always interesting to see how a reboot will end up. I have great childhood memories of the First Mummy films. Egypt, its culture, mysteries and ancient prophecies intrigue me. Even the role that the British had as discoverers of ancient tombs intrigues me. This is why I had to see this reboot version. Although the images are great, it did not get to me the way I would have preferred it.

The Mummy takes place in Iraq where soldiers Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his partner Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) accidentally discover the tomb of princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Together with Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), an archeologist and Nick’s one-night stand they investigate the tomb and bring the sarcophagus to London with a military airplane. A series of unfortunate –or cursed terror-like– events happen causing the plane to crash on the countryside. The Crash frees the millennia old princess from her sarcophagus, allowing her to carry out the initial plan that she started ages ago. Because she sold her soul to the Egyptian god Set she pledged to use a magical dagger (with a red stone) by stabbing it in the heart of the chosen one –in this case Nick Morton–  to transfer Set’s spirit into a human body. Once she has accomplished this they will rule the world together. Nick, Jenny and Dr. Henry Jekyll, leader of a secret society which Jenny is part off, are determined to fight against evil and keep the world safe from forces that defy human comprehension.

The Mummy was directed by Alex Kurtzman and written by David Koepp and Christopher McQuarrie. Like with most movies, Hollywood always tries to make their films relevant to modern-day events that are currently happening. For examples in this film they brought in Iraq as location where a hidden temple was built by the Egyptians and of course we see Middle Eastern militants that closely resemble ISIS as they commit themselves to destroying and defacing ancient religious statues, just as it happened in real life in Palmyra. Instead of the British perspective that we used to enjoy in the earlier films we’re not confronted with an American perspective, Nick’s. Although, the later part of their adventure does take place in the London. Besides that in this film they throw in a lot of other elements, such as the knight’s Templar’s, secret societies, the names Jekyll and Hyde and zombie minions. In my opinion it was too much and should have stayed truer to mummies and ancient Egyptian concepts. If I may, and with all respect, I’d liked to state that it would have been more interesting if they made use of the American treasure hunters who always competed against the British in the earlier films. Maybe this time their offspring as modern-day explorers in 2017 and they finally found something. On the other it really felt like all these elements were put in place, because it deals with a larger story that might be told in sequel films. The film stars Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis.

The acting in the film was believable, but it did not stand out per se. It’s hard to distinguish since it is supposed to be your usual action fantasy adventure film, but at times the jokes were too much trying to be like in the earlier Mummy films and the adventure felt like it could have been from another film. Tom Cruise is an amazing actor, but I never feel that he becomes the character, the character rather becomes him. It is amazing, because that means that he brands a film into becoming a Tom Cruise film and the fans love that. But sometimes you just want to get lost in a film and really cling to the character himself. The character that I believed most and also looked most forward to is Ahmanet, played by Sofia Boutella. For some reason I just love the whole Mummy premise that there is an evil princess who possesses major powers that can bring major destruction. Sofia took her role to heart. She was both elegant and almost beastly with her character and when necessary she could use her innocent looking charms to convince Nick of their destiny and still kick him across the room.

What I thought was most surprising was the dark tone that this film sometimes took. It became quite a thriller at times. These moments really had me as they were very tense and suspenseful, making me jump in my seat. I would have loved it too if they went the full thriller route. The special effects are amazingly well done. There could have been more things than storms of sand and glass, but the special effects really deliver a spectacle that people want to watch.

The Mummy meets the requirements needed to bring about a spectacular adventure film that will entertain the masses. Still, there are particular points that could have been better of different, but that could just be the critical view of one person who sees a lot more potential in films. While, the masses enjoy a blockbuster that just takes them away from reality.

In Dutch theatres as from the 8th of June 2017.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy | Language: English | Dutch Distributor: Universal Pictures Nederland.

In regard of all pictures and trailer footage: © 2017 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

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